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“Live Cool and Well” … Is it a New Culture or Just a Business?

“Live Cool and Well” … Is it a New Culture or Just a Business?

Posted January. 11, 2004 23:22,   


To define “well-being” with trendy words, we can say a ‘cool’ healthy culture.

Generally, well-being is known as a culture pursuing a healthy life through harmonizing the mind and body and not being tied down to materialistic values. Not to mention, regarded as an elegant taste or a symbol of wealth.

So then, do the common people also think of well-beings as mentioned above? Last December, the Dong-A Ilbo health management team conducted a fact-finding research on well-beings to 774 people using the health examination center of major university hospitals including Samsung Medical Center, Asan Medical Center, Korea University Medical Center, Hanyang University Medical Center, Severance Hospital, Kangnam St. Mary’s Hospital (Catholic University of Korea), Kyunghee Medical Center and Seoul National University Hospital.

Research was done by a one-to-one interview and filling in the questionnaire. Of the total 850 collected questionnaires that were answered, 774 (322 males, 452 females) statistically meaningful answers were analyzed.

Well-beings are only a few: “I would gladly sweat at the health center for my health.” “My ordinary life is comfortable and natural.” “I don’t hesitate to buy natural organic food.” These were the general images of well-beings that the people thought of.

It turned out that pursuing luxurious brands or extravagant life, or the opposite, living a simple life, all do not associate with well-beings. In short, well-beings are drastic when investing in themselves, but is a group that follow substantiality and not the outer form.

There was something interesting from this research. Even though the entire country bustles over the well-being syndrome, there are actually only a few who are well-beings. Only 14 percent answered, “I am a well-being.” 45 percent answered that they did not even understand the general idea of well-being or have heard of the word.

Experts analyzed that the reason was that the well-being culture was limited to those who had huge interest in health. Considering that the people who had participated in this research are those who often take interest in their health, there is a possibility that this well-being fever is a bit exaggerated.

There was no exception to the well-being culture that the young generation takes in the new culture the best. From this research, 40 percent of those who replied they were well-beings were in their twenties. Following it, the thirties constituted 35 percent, showing that those in their twenties and thirties took up 75 percent of the entire well-beings. The forties had 20 percent, fifties were four percent, and those under their twenties were only two percent.

When analyzed by occupation, the group farthest from well-beings were the housewives, at nine percent of the total female well-beings. Altogether, those with professional occupations rated 20 percent, showing the highest percentage, and public officers were second, rating 18 percent. Students accounted for 11 percent.

It takes money to well-being: How much do well-beings invest in to maintain their current condition? We asked the monthly cost for well-being. One out of two, approximately 47 percent, answered that they invested “100~500 thousand won.” Following this, 40 percent answered “less than 100 thousand won.” Five percent each answered “50,000 - 1 million won” and “1~2 million won.” Only two percent answered “above 2 million won.”

Being financially stable was most difficult for well-beings when maintaining their current condition. On the question asking the obstacle of well-beings, 42 percent replied, “It takes a lot of money.” Following in second, 36 percent said that making spare time was difficult. Eighteen percent replied, “There are no suitable facilities, “and three percent said, “The looks around me are stinging.”

What is the reason why 86 percent of the answers who are “non-well-beings” cannot join the well-being group? Thirty percent replied, “We cannot afford it.” Twenty-six percent said, “There is no time to spare,” coming in second. These are the same difficulties that well-beings have when maintaining their condition. Twenty-three percent replied, “I am not interested” and 14 percent said, “It does not emotionally match with me.”

Well-beings meet at health centers: We asked of the flashing image of well-beings to those who are actually well-beings and those who aren’t without singling out. The questionnaire presented 15 items currently considered as the culture of well-beings: health center and exercise, diet, aroma and massage. yoga and meditation, organic food, luxury, simple, composure and naturalness, self-complacency, young culture code, preferring luxury brands, considering mental value important, diligence, sensitivity to health information, and others.

The respondents picked out “health center” and “exercise” (14 percent) as the words most related to well-beings. Following, composure and naturalness (14 percent), organic food (12 percent), self-complacent (10 percent) and considering mental value important (7 percent) were picked.

On the other hand, simple (18 percent), luxury (14 percent) and preferring luxury brands (13 percent) were responded as words not related to well-beings, showing that well-beings and consuming do not have a huge relation. Following, diligence(11 percent), young culture code (8 percent) were replied as not related.

Meanwhile, 56 percent respondents said that well-beings are being used commercially. Only 16 percent replied the opposite.

corekim@donga.com likeday@donga.com